College not so helpful to heroes - claims Exmouth mum

The mother of an Exmouth Community College pupil claims the school has warned people not to wear wristbands supporting the work of troops serving overseas

A PUPIL has been banned from wearing wristbands supporting the work of troops overseas – because her school claim they are a health and safety risk.

Sarah-Jane Chalk, who attends Exmouth Community College, has been forbidden to wear the wristbands, some of which are made by the Help for Heroes charity, writes Graham Britton.

But, after forgetting to remove them during school hours last Tuesday, the 15-year-old, of Moorfield Road, was sent to see her head of year and then sent into a temporary exclusion room.

Angry with the college’s policy, her mum, Susan, 42, said: “I’m disgusted because, by wearing the wristbands, she is supporting our troops.

“I phoned the school asking for their views and was told they were a health and safety risk as they’re classed as bracelets.”

Sarah-Jane has no more than five rubber wristbands. Each of them carries a message across, including the words ‘Support the Royal Marines.’

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A number of Exmouth-based shops sell the bands for around �2 each with proceeds going to such as Help for Heroes and the Royal Marines’ Charitable Trust.

“I can understand the need for jewellery and bracelets to be removed – but these are something synonymous with our town. Exmouth is home to the Royal Marines,” Susan said.

She added: “If the college says they breach health and safety, then surely ties do because they could strangle you.

“This week, she forgot to remove them as she went into school and was put into a temporary exclusion room for the day where she could no longer go to any classes. It is her final year and she missed out on important lessons.”

Susan has a relative and a number of friends who are serving in the Royal Marines.

She said: “The school allows children to wear poppies and pink clothing earlier in the year at an event in aid of Cancer Research so why not wristbands?

“They should teach children to support our troops as they are out there fighting for freedom.”

Susan and members of her family plan to launch a petition on Facebook, protesting against the school’s wristband policy.

Tony Alexander, college principal, said the school actively supported the Help for Heroes campaign and would be holding a charity event later this term.

“Wrist bands are not allowed for the simple reason that they contravene our strict uniform policy,” he said.